All this talk about “sportsball” on Twitter during the Super Bowl sort of eluded me. Yes, I get it; gamers and geek culture are not generally associated with being sports fans. I can’t even properly say I am one myself. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl this year, or last, and I don’t really follow teams, but that has a lot more to do with the way I take in entertainment. I don’t watch TV very often in general. It’s like pulling teeth to get me to watch a movie. But unquestionably, my favorite organized sport is football, and I am not a stranger to football video games.
Now I’ll be clear here: I am referring specifically to arcade-style football. I have never been able to fully understand or appreciate the nuance of the Madden series (except in very early iterations) or other more serious football simulations. The idea of sitting through hours of tutorials and having to remember fifty different button commands to stand a chance at fighting my way through a season is arduous for me. But the these days, the options seem more limited than ever. Madden has practically monopolized the sport at this point, NFL Blitz is nowhere to be found, so if you want a decent game of football, you are practically forced to suck at the teat of EA and deal with everything that comes with it.
So it’s really nice to see an option come seemingly out of left field (because sports haha) in Mutant Football League. Not only is it a welcome addition to a genre that is sorely lacking in variation, but it’s a revival of a fun 16-bit franchise, the Mutant League sports series, that I remember pretty fondly from my childhood. It has a few kinks and imperfections which I will get into, but I was able to look past them quickly and enjoy the base game for what it is: simple, straightforward arcade football.
With punching and blood and explosions and mayhem.